1. Offseason QB : In the context of an unprecedented low season of quarterback traffic, this could be exactly what the Patriots need. The answer to each question must be yes.
Do they have interest in Deshaun Watson of Houston, if his application is successful? D-E-S.
Sam Darnold of New York and Jimmy Garoppolo of San Francisco, if they’re available? Yes, of course.
Matthew Stafford from Detroit? He’s no longer on the board of directors.
The Patriots need to keep an eye on all quarterbacks, if only to understand the trade market and also to anticipate the next quarterback dominoes that could fall in the NFL. For example, if Watson were to agree to a trade from Houston and end up with the Niners, the Patriots could potentially acquire Garoppolo.
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Hard to believe Houston would want to trade Watson to the Patriots or anywhere else in the AFC. But if things don’t work out the way General Manager Nick Caserio envisioned with regard to Watson’s willingness to play for the Texans, Watson is a rare type of player for whom coach Bill Belichick can make an exception; the price will start with a few first-round picks (and then some), and it will be worth it.
There are many teams that need a quarterback. We’re going to be in this race, security veteran Devin McCourty said in his Double Coverage podcast. Is Cam [Newton] coming back? Are we getting a new quarterback? Nobody knows that.
The Patriots are in good financial shape, with an estimated payroll of more than $50 million for 2021. They do not face a financial crisis which many teams will have to face if the ceiling is lowered as planned during the off-season, which will have a significant impact on the trading market and may limit the number of competitors.
Garoppolo is probably the best option for the Patriots in terms of fitness and what it will cost to acquire him (less than the first time around). But there’s no guarantee San Francisco will want to move it unless something potentially better comes along.
2. At 15, it’s a rare place: Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer recently made a comment that directly concerns the Patriots. If you look at the draft and you go up, there’s a certain level of player that stops at 16, 17 or 18, he said.
Fitterer spent 20 years with the Seattle Seahawks, who, like the Patriots, rallied in the bottom half of the first round and therefore tended to trade for assets.
That’s why the Patriots’ position at No. 15 in the NFL 2021 project is important. In 20 years under Belichick’s leadership, the team has finished fourth – following a sixth-place finish in 2001 (Richard Seymour), a 12th-place finish in 2003 (Ty Warren) and a 10th-place finish in 2008 (Jerod Mayo).
It’s one of their best chances to get a true blue player, regardless of position.
3. QB or not: ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have released their first drafts, and both place the Patriots’ quarterbacks 15th, with Kiper considering Alabama McJones a suitable candidate. It’s one of the Patriots’ biggest needs, but Fitterer says the Patriots have to be sure they can’t meet it because they risk losing a top player elsewhere. That’s why I’m leaning towards a quarterback at the 15th position.
According to Mel Kiper Jr. the connection between Bill Belichick and Nick Saban will be the reason the Patriots choose McJones.
4. McCourty gives Cam a pep talk: In his podcast, Devin McCourty discussed a long list of famous quarterbacks who could be playing elsewhere in 2021, and reminded us not to forget Newton. He argues for Newton’s return to New England. I wouldn’t mind seeing a lot of these guys defend my team, and I’m starting to say I wouldn’t mind seeing my man, Cam Newton. I thought he was in a tough spot when he came in, without a season, without anything. McCourty closed the podcast by tipping Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win the LV Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs.
5. Hochstein is flattered: Retired offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has often left the rankings during his 33-year career with the Patriots, but last week he made an exception. In an interview with Matt Smith and Brian Morrie for the Panthers from the Past podcast, he cited quarterback Russ Hochstein’s performance in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Panthers as a personal highlight.
Hochstein was forced into the starting lineup for the AFC Championship because of Damien Woody’s injury, and his former Tampa Bay teammate, the outspoken Warren Sapp, publicly humiliated him in interviews prior to the Super Bowl.
We all saw what Sapp said and did. We never talked about it, Scarnecchia said in the podcast. For me, this is one of the greatest moments of my coaching career: Russ, that night, and the way he played.
When Hochstein, 43, was informed of this comment, he smiled and said he was flattered.
I really love and respect Dante as a true unsung hero for setting up offensive lines that weren’t always the smartest or the most skilled, but we always played as a group and we overcame a lot, Hochstein told ESPN.com. He taught me a lot about football and was like a second father to most of us.
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6. Adopt a new English: Hochstein, who played 92 games with 20 starts for the Patriots (2002-2008), is a native of North Attleboro, Massachusetts. He met his wife, Christina, who grew up in Rhode Island and is a teacher in Massachusetts, when he was with the Patriots, and they have three children. That explains why the nice man from Nebraska, who works in business development and sales for Brewster Ambulance Service, moved to New England.
7. The gesture of power: When the local AJ Quetta High School hockey player suffered a spinal cord injury during a game Tuesday, the New England sports community came together to help him get better. Patriots owner Robert Kraft called the Greg Hill Show on sports radio station WEEI and promised a game worth $25,000. Patriots defender Patrick Chung, who was away for the 2020 NFL season, returned to the stadium last week for practice and other business. It is hoped that the support will continue and that Quetta will make great progress in his recovery.
8. The design: Wayne Eskridge, who was traded in the Senior Bowl and draft as a possible top 50 pick who could help fill the Patriots’ need for speed and drive, is another cornerstone of his three-player roster in 2019. At the Senior Bowl, he was 6-foot-4 and weighed 200 pounds.
9. Super Daley Experience: Former Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Dailey (2004-2018) – now in his second season as game coordinator/chiefs defensive line coach – returns to the Super Bowl for the fifth consecutive season and sixth time in seven years. The decision to leave the Patriots after his 18th season was a difficult one. The season of departure. In the offseason, Brian Flores left the team to become coach of the Miami Dolphins. Had Daly been appointed Belichick’s defensive coordinator, the appeal to stay might have been greater. Daly’s wife, Keeley, has roots in Kansas City, which played a role in the decision.
10. They knew: Once in their history, the Patriots chose quarterback Tony Eason at No. 1. 15 (1983). Since then, only one quarterback has been selected 15th – Dwayne Haskins Jr. (Washington football team, 2019).